Tips and Tricks from Military Moms for Back-To-School is the second in a two-part series by Stephanie Ward to help parents navigate the complexities of back-to-school in military life. Read part one here. 

Tips and Tricks from Military Moms for Back-To-School 

By Stephanie Ward 

Last week, we tackled our common fears and worries as military moms during the back-to-school season. 

Today we will get tips and tricks from some of the best military moms I know to help guide us during the back-to-school season. Proverbs 12, verse 26a says, “One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor…”Although military life is complicated, it has brought me some great, righteous girlfriend guides!

Lord of Back-To-School

Back to School time means a lot is piling up in that “to-do” stack. If you are a military family and combine the back-to-school season with a PCS, the “to-do” list can seem like a mountain. I hate to admit it, but sometimes my “to-do” list slips to a “to worry about” list. So my tip is to lean on scripture.

When I feel the dread of anxiety, I remember Proverbs 12:25,  “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”

Anxiety is heavy, but Christ helps carry that cumbersome load.

Submitted by Stephanie Ward.

Find Community

Talk to an adult military brat; they often do not recollect the circumstances or things that concern us. I am married to a military brat (now on active duty), which has been helpful!

I also need to find a deep community, hopefully at a church, Chapel, or Bible study. Finding people to walk with me and point me toward the truth has been the biggest help to me.

Submitted by Jessica Anest. 

Summer Activities 

My biggest tip for positively acclimating in a new town is to get your children signed up for summer sports clinics and activities so they can have at least one buddy before the school year starts.

If they are too young for organized sports, play outside in the front yard, go to the pool, and get to know your new neighbors.

Bottom line? Get your kids out there.

After making one positive connection, I’ve found that my children are much more at ease in our new duty location. I also think it is important to remind our children that we can make new friends and we should also keep in touch with our friends. Highlighting the opportunities rather than the loss that is associated with a PCS.

Submitted by Ashley Harless

Let the Kids Learn 

I have learned that it’s not always best to do everything you can to make everything seamless and perfect for the kids.

We are at the end of our Army career (21 years), and up until the last PCS, we have always done our best to do all the leg work to make everything smooth and seamless- which is nice and pretty with a bow on top. But seriously, that is exhausting and not feasible for every move, person, or circumstance.

We do our best to make sure the kids are situated and know where they’re going to school- do the back-to-school night/meet the teacher night, get all the supplies from the list, drive by, or maybe even do a couple of dry-runs of how a normal am/pm drop off/pick up will go (for high schoolers who drive themselves or even kiddos with extremely high anxiety or difficulty with change).

Submitted by Alicia Wendt. 

Military Moms Prep

Prepare for your PCS as soon as you get the green light. 

Get your kids’ medical records and sports physicals done before your PCS. Contact the gaining schools or medical facilities and get their physical forms for your current doctors to fill out. Update all immunizations before you PCS. Doing this ahead of the PCS will put your family ahead of the game when signing up for activities at the new location. 

Check to see if there are any activities that you can get your kids involved in the week you arrive at your new duty station. Vacation Bible School. CYS Sports programs. Local college kids’ activities. YMCA programs. By getting your kids involved immediately in the activities of the new duty station, they will get settled more quickly, meet new friends, and the whole family will be looking forward to what is exciting and new and not backward at what you lost.

Get the entire family to research the new duty station. What parks are nearby? Are there historical areas? When are the festivals and celebrations in this location? Have a plan to time your arrival so your family can visit these places and enjoy the new duty station.

Submitted by Sandy Murphy. 

Talk About More Than Back-To-School 

As a newer military family, we have just tried to keep the lines of communication open with our kids. Thankfully, they are still willing to talk to us about their fears, so that we will ride that out as long as possible.

For my higher anxiety kiddo, we need to talk about EVERYTHING, and she does best if we can look things up online or go and physically visit the school. And she will ask many questions, many of which will be repeated. I have to pray for lots of patience and compassion because it drives me crazy when she asks me questions to which she already knows the answer. I have to give her grace because it’s a way she deals with her anxiety.

I’m unsure if that’s a tip or trick, but I’ve just learned that about her.

I also do my best to be excited and hope that will rub off on them all.

Submitted by Amy Domingo. 

Tips and Tricks Won’t Do It All

Although back-to-school season can seem daunting, I like to picture us as military moms linking spiritual arms and helping each other as we launch our kids into the new school year.

We are not alone in this journey, and may we take comfort in knowing that neither are our kids.  

God’s got their backs, and he can do it all!  

 Lord, “Thank you for the reminder that many military moms have felt the burden of preparing their students for a new school year.  Thank you, God, for my military kids. I pray that the seed of faith is planted in their hearts. Let them walk boldly with you this year.” Amen.   

Notes and Resources

  1. Click here to see our Month of the Military Child Resource. 
  2. Click here to see our Women’s History Month Resource List.
  3. Click here to see our Heart Healthy Relationship Resource List.
  4. Click here to see our Women’s Empowerment Resource List.
  5. Check out this post if you want a reminder of what our Faith Full Friday series is all about.



Tips and Tricks from Military Moms for Back-To-School